Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently has approved two medications that each contain a synthetic cannabinoid chemical as an ingredient, it has not approved the overall use of the marijuana plant to medically treat symptoms of a disease. Because of the limited clinical trials to date, research continues to assess the risks and benefits of the use of cannabinoid chemicals in medications, especially as more states move to legalize medical marijuana.
If you reside in a state that allows or is considering legislation allowing the use of marijuana for the treatment of symptoms related to certain medical conditions, talk to your doctor. As an alternative treatment, it's important to learn more about its therapeutic potential, possible side effects, and the active compounds in the plant that may help relieve your symptoms.
The marijuana plant contains cannabinoids – chemicals that offer hope in treating pain, inflammation, epileptic seizures, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, mental illness, and even cancer. While the body produces its own cannabinoid chemicals that aid in regulating appetite, pain, pleasure, and the process of thinking, the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant can lead to serious physical, mental, and behavioral side effects if abused. But with careful scientific research and the development of appropriate regulation and safety standards, the cannabinoid compounds in marijuana may offer the potential for numerous therapeutic uses.
THC and CBD
The two cannabinoids in the marijuana plant that researchers are studying for possible medical use are the chemical compounds THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Similar to the THC in the marijuana plant, synthetic THC is the chemical ingredient in the two FDA-approved drugs dispensed in pill form to reduce nausea and increase appetite. This particular cannabinoid also may reduce swelling and help alleviate pain.
CBD is another active cannabinoid of marijuana in which researchers are particularly interested. Scientists speculate that this cannabinoid also may act as an anti-inflammatory and help to reduce pain without the side effect of affecting a person's mind or behavior. In addition, the chemical shows promise in controlling seizures, as well as in treating substance abuse disorders and mental illness, including psychosis, anxiety, and depression.
Potential Side Effects of Cannabinoids
Since the regular use of marijuana for medicinal purposes doesn't have a long scientifically-proven history, the possible long-term side effects remain unknown. Like other medications, individuals who are at particular risk of suffering harmful side effects include the elderly and people with cancer, AIDS, and autoimmune disorders that weaken the immune system.
Not only can the THC in marijuana cause dizziness, forgetfulness, paranoia, and slowed reaction time, the compound can lower your blood pressure, increase the risk of bleeding if you have a bleeding disorder, and affect your blood sugar levels, which is of particular concern if you have diabetes. In addition, the chemical compounds in marijuana may increase your heart rate, which can lead to a heart attack after use. Consequently, marijuana for medicinal properties to treat pain and illness must be carefully administered and monitored for optimum benefit. Contact a local outlet, such as Pono Life Sciences, LLC., for further assistance.